Cicada Year

Brood XIII coming here to N IL , Brood XIX downstate IL. Some places in mid IL are supposed to get both.

Cicadas are biological time capsules. Here is a not-so-biological time capsule:


| My attention has been recently focussed¹
| Upon the seventeen year locust.
| This is the year
| When the seventeen-year locusts are here,
| Which is the chief reason my attention has been focussed
| Upon the seventeen year locust.
| Overhead, underfoot, they abound,
| And they have been seventeen years in the ground,
| For seventeen years they were immune to politics and class war and
capital taunts and labor taunts,
| And now they have come out like billions of insect debutantes,
| Because they think that after such a long wait,
| Why they are entitled to a rich and handsome mate,
| But like many another hopeful debutante they have been hoaxed and
| Because all they get is another seventeen-year locust.
| Girl locusts don’t make any noise,
| But you ought to hear the boys.
| Boy locusts don’t eat, but it is very probable that they take a
drink now and again, and not out of a spring or fountain,
| Because they certainly do put their heads together in the treetops
and render Sweet Adeline and She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain,
| I for one get bewildered and go all hot and cold
| Everytime I look at a locust and realize that it is seventeen years
| It is as fantastic as something out of H. G. Wells or Jules Verne or
G. A. Henty
| To watch a creature that has been underground ever since it hatched
shortly previous to 1920,
| Because locusts also get bewildered and go hot and cold because they
naturally expected to find Jess Willard still the champion,
| And Nita Naldi the vampion,
| And Woodrow Wilson on his way to Paris to promote the perpetually
not-yet-but-soon League,
| And Washington under the thumb of Wayne B. Wheeler and the
Anti-Saloon League
| Indeed I saw one locust which reminded me of a godmotherless
| Because when it emerged from the ground it was whistling Dardanella.
| Dear locusts, my sympathy for you is intense,
| Because by the time you get adjusted you will be defunct, leaving
nothing behind you but a lot of descendants who in turn will be
defunct just as they get adjusted seventeen years hence.